Gibbs-Francis garners second Academic All-District honor
Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University (APSU) track and field standout Nia Gibbs-Francis has been named to the Google Cloud Academic All-District® Women’s Track and Field/Cross Country Teams, selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) for the second straight year.
The Fort Campbell, Kentucky native joins some elite company, becoming just the fifth member in the history of the Austin Peay women’s track and field and cross country programs to earn multiple Academic All-District honors in her career.
Gibbs-Francis now stands alongside Molly Basch (2013-14), Carrie Burggraf (2008-10), Ayesha Maycock (1999-01) and Emily Anthony (1997-98) as the only multiple honorees in program history.
This honor continues a spring that has been beneficial to Gibbs-Francis academically and athletically. She graduated in May with her bachelor’s degree in social work after carrying a 4.0 grade-point average all four years of her Austin Peay career. Gibbs-Francis earned the Perkins Freeman Academic Achievement Award given to the most outstanding senior student-athlete with the highest cumulative GPA.
In her final season on the track, Gibbs-Francis not only posted a career-best 1.70m high jump mark at the Hilltopper Relays in April—a mark tied for fifth all-time in program history—she picked up a new event as well. In early April, she began experimenting with the 400m hurdles, an event she’d never tried during her collegiate career; by the 2019 Ohio Valley Conference Outdoor Championships, she was good enough to qualify for the finals in the event, placing fifth overall. She earned points in the 400m hurdles, high jump and heptathlon at the OVC Outdoor Championship, her final event as a Governor.
Gibbs-Francis is the fifth Governor to earn Academic All-District honors for the 2018-19 academic year. She joins Ryan Rockensuess (football), Morgan Rackel (softball), Cecily Gable (volleyball) and Kristen Stucker (volleyball).
First-team Academic All-District® honorees advance to the Google Cloud Academic All-America® ballot, with first- and second-team Academic All-America® honorees to be announced in June. The Google Cloud Academic All-America® program recognizes the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances on the field and in the classroom.